Monday, March 03, 2008

Steve Reid - Daxaar (Domino, 2008)

Drummer and composer Steve Reid's diverse credits range from Motown recordings to free improvisation through to his more recent electro-acoustic jazz experiments with Kieran Hebden. On this album, all of these influences and experiences are in play and come together to produce a very exciting album of electro-acoustic-ethnic-fusion. Joining Reid are Hebden on electronics, Khadim Badji on percussion, Dembel Diop on bass, Roger Ongolo on trumpet, Jimi Mbaye on guitar, Bors Netsvetaev on keyboards. None of these musician play at all on the opening track, "Welcome" which is performed by Isa Kouyate on kora and vocals in an enchanting way. The album proper kicks in with "Daxaar" which features a trance groove of electronics, percussion and organ laying down a hypnotic foundation for the trumpet to comment on. "Jiggy Jiggy" has a trippy and complex electronics and percussion feel, while "Dabronxxar"sets a wonderful Electric-Miles feel with bubbling bass, electronics, subtle guitar and trumpet. I found this disc to be very enjoyable, the drones and grooves established gave a multi-cultural kozmigroove air to the proceedings, while never sinking into navel-gazing.

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